Tuesday, 27 February 2018

Stephen Fry : 2 Minutes To Belgium

This is bad - Two minutes to Belgium! 

Why would I go to Belgium?

I think the relevant question is, 
"Why wouldn't you? "

Thursday, 22 February 2018


1 And they came over unto the other side of the sea, into the country of the Gadarenes.

2 And when he was come out of the ship, immediately there met him out of the tombs a man with an unclean spirit,

3 Who had his dwelling among the tombs; and no man could bind him, no, not with chains:

4 Because that he had been often bound with fetters and chains, and the chains had been plucked asunder by him, and the fetters broken in pieces: neither could any man tame him.

5 And always, night and day, he was in the mountains, and in the tombs, crying, and cutting himself with stones.

6 But when he saw Jesus afar off, he ran and worshipped him,

7 And cried with a loud voice, and said, What have I to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of the most high God? I adjure thee by God, that thou torment me not.

8 For he said unto him, Come out of the man, thou unclean spirit.

9 And he asked him, What is thy name? And he answered, saying, My name is Legion: for we are many.

10 And he besought him much that he would not send them away out of the country.

11 Now there was there nigh unto the mountains a great herd of swine feeding.

12 And all the devils besought him, saying, Send us into the swine, that we may enter into them.

13 And forthwith Jesus gave them leave. And the unclean spirits went out, and entered into the swine: and the herd ran violently down a steep place into the sea, (they were about two thousand;) and were choked in the sea.

14 And they that fed the swine fled, and told it in the city, and in the country. And they went out to see what it was that was done.

15 And they come to Jesus, and see him that was possessed with the devil, and had the legion, sitting, and clothed, and in his right mind: and they were afraid.

16 And they that saw it told them how it befell to him that was possessed with the devil, and also concerning the swine.

17 And they began to pray him to depart out of their coasts.

18 And when he was come into the ship, he that had been possessed with the devil prayed him that he might be with him.

19 Howbeit Jesus suffered him not, but saith unto him, Go home to thy friends, and tell them how great things the Lord hath done for thee, and hath had compassion on thee.

20 And he departed, and began to publish in Decapolis how great things Jesus had done for him: and all men did marvel.

26 And they arrived at the country of the Gadarenes, which is over against Galilee.
27 And when he went forth to land, there met him out of the city a certain man, which had devils long time, and ware no clothes, neither abode in anyhouse, but in the tombs.
28 When he saw Jesus, he cried out, and fell down before him, and with a loud voice said, What have I to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of God most high? I beseech thee, torment me not.
29 (For he had commanded the unclean spirit to come out of the man. For oftentimes it had caught him: and he was kept bound with chains and in fetters; and he brake the bands, and was driven of the devil into the wilderness.)
30 And Jesus asked him, saying, What is thy name?And he said, Legion: because many devils were entered into him.
31 And they besought him that he would not command them to go out into the deep.
32 And there was there an herd of many swine feeding on the mountain: and they besought him that he would suffer them to enter into them. And he suffered them.
33 Then went the devils out of the man, and entered into the swine: and the herd ran violently down a steep place into the lake, and were choked.
34 When they that fed themsaw what was done, they fled, and went and told itin the city and in the country.
35 Then they went out to see what was done; and came to Jesus, and found the man, out of whom the devils were departed, sitting at the feet of Jesus, clothed, and in his right mind: and they were afraid.
36They also which saw ittold them by what means he that was possessed of the devils was healed.
37Then the whole multitude of the country of the Gadarenes round about besought him to depart from them; for they were taken with great fear: and he went up into the ship, and returned back again.
38Now the man out of whom the devils were departed besought him that he might be with him: but Jesus sent him away, saying,
39Return to thine own house, and shew how great things God hath done unto thee. And he went his way, and published throughout the whole city how great things Jesus had done unto him.

Thursday, 15 February 2018


[Ready room]

Mister La Forge, I would like you to accompany Captain Scott. 

Me, sir? 

Yes. Look, this is not an order, it's a request and it's one which you must feel perfectly free to decline. 

You see, one of the most important things in a person's life is to feel useful

Now, Mister Scott is a Starfleet officer and I would like him to feel useful again. 

I'll go with him, sir. 

Thank you.


[Conference room]

Captain Picard is not satisfied with Ki Mendrossen's assurances that the Ambassador is in good health. 
Do you consider Sarek capable of carrying out his mission? 

Have I given you cause to think otherwise? 

You have voiced certain reservations to me about his abilities. 

I do not recall making such a statement. 

Not directly, no. 
But you did question me about the diplomatic capabilities of both Captain Picard and Counsellor Troi. 

I am honour-bound to help Sarek carry out this mission. 
That is the only answer I can give. 

Then you must decide which is your greater obligation. 
Your loyalty to Sarek or your duty to the Federation. 
Can you accept the logic of continuing this mission? 

Tell your Captain the mission is in jeopardy.


Sakkath has been able, until recently, to use his telepathic skills to reinforce Sarek's emotional control, thus protecting others from the effects of his deterioration. 

He hasn't been doing a very good job. 

The strain of this mission on Sarek has made it impossible. 

It's ironic, isn't it? 
All this magnificent technology and we find ourselves still susceptible to the ravages of old age. 
The loss of dignity, the slow betrayal of our bodies by forces we cannot master. 

Do you still want to be one of us, Data? 

Sir, it is conceivable, even for me, that time will eventually lead to irreparable circuit failure. 
But there is one thing I do not understand. 
Sarek is a logical, intelligent being. The effects of Bendii Syndrome are apparent. 

Why would such a man choose to ignore them? 

Logic fails us sometimes, Data. I think this is one of those times. 
I can only guess that he does not see, or he does not wish to see, the truth. 
And he is being insulated against that truth by those who love him most. 

Someone has to confront him. 

Not a task that I'm looking forward to. 


Sarek is a good man. He's given the Federation a lifetime of service. 
I beg you to let him keep the respect he has earned. 

He'll never lose that respect. 

Mendrossen and I never wanted to deceive you.

My husband's condition came on him so gradually it was so easy to delude ourselves and pretend that nothing was wrong. 

We convinced ourselves that he could complete this one last task and end his career with dignity. 

Help him, Captain. Help him regain his pride, his honour. 

Believe me, it would give me great pleasure, but there is nothing I can do.

The mission can be saved. But he needs your help to do it.


I take it the mind-meld was a success? 

Yes. All went as planned. 

Is Captain Picard all right? 

Don't worry, Number One. 

And the Ambassador? 

I am myself again. 
It has been a long time.

[Picard's quarters]

(Jean-Luc is voicing the agony Sarek had been keeping locked inside himself

No! It is wrong. It is wrong! 
A lifetime of discipline washed away, and in its place bedlam. 

I am so old. 
There is nothing left but dry bones and dead friends. 
Tired, oh so tired. 

It will pass, all of it. 
Just another hour or so. 
You're doing fine. Just hold on. 

No! This weakness disgusts me! I hate it! 
Where is my logic? I am betrayed by desires. 
I want to feel. I want to feel everything. 
But I am a Vulcan. 
I must feel nothing. 
Give me back my control. 


Perrin. Amanda. 
I wanted to give you so much more. 
I wanted to show you such tenderness. 
But that is not our way. 
Spock, Amanda, did you know? 
Perrin, can you know how much I love you? 
I do love you! 

(Beverly comes over to wipe his tears


I'm here, Jean-Luc. 
I'm not going anywhere.

It's quite difficult. 
The anguish of the man, the despair pouring out of him, all those feelings, the regrets. 
I can't stop them. 

(He falls, sobbing, into her arms

I can't stop them. 
I can't. 
I can't. 

Don't even try.

Thank you, Captain. 

He loves you very much. 

I know. 
I have always known. 

(Sarek enters

I will take my leave of you now, Captain. 
I do not think we shall meet again. 

I hope you are wrong, Ambassador. 

We shall always retain the best part of the other inside us. 

I believe I have the best part of that bargain, Ambassador. 
Peace and long life. 

Live long and prosper. 

Wednesday, 14 February 2018

Black Panther


My God, Tommy. 
You certainly got those minerals. 
Well, come on then. Before zee Germans get here. 

Don't be sad — it was never alive in the first place.

Should drag shows be used as a teaching tool in Alberta schools?

Not according to a critic of a new LGBTQ guidebook for Alberta teachers

This purple unicorn is used to describe 'a more authentic way of understanding gender' in a new toolkit being launched by the Alberta Teachers' Association. (Alberta Teachers' Association)
A new toolkit to assist Alberta teachers with LGBTQ discussions is being slammed by critics for suggesting drag shows could be staged in schools and students be addressed as "comrades" rather than boys and girls.  
Those are just two of the proposals in a 150-page document from the Alberta Teachers' Association (ATA). The "Prism Toolkit for Safe and Caring Discussions" aims to help teachers create classrooms and curriculum that are more LGBTQ inclusive.  
The backlash over the toolkit, being distributed in schools this month, is just the latest in a divisive battle over LGBTQ rights for students, pitting advocates against religious and parental groups.  
The toolkit document includes four pages of LGBTQ terminology, as well as the history and legal framework surrounding LGBTQ issues and lesson plans for students in Grades 7-12 on a variety of subjects, including math, biology and religion.
While the ATA argues the document, developed internally, will help teachers create a safe and inclusive environment for all students, some critics say it excludes many points of view.
"There is this implicit presumption that everyone already agrees on this very specific singular perspective of gender and sexuality," said Theresa Ng, a mother, former teacher and parent rights activist who writes a blog called Informed Albertans. "There's no honouring or valuing of alternative perspectives on this issue."

'Comrades' an alternate for 'boys' and 'girls'

One activity, titled "Drag 101" for cosmetology and drama students, suggests inviting local drag queens to teach makeup techniques and organizing a drag performance for the school.
The toolkit advises teachers to use gender-neutral language. For instance, rather than relying on the traditional terms "boys" and "girls," the guide suggests using alternative terms like friends, folks or "comrades."
Terms such as "caretaker," "guardian" and "responsible adults" can replace "mom" and "dad."
"Grade 7-12 students have no choice to decline these lessons, which happen during mandated instructional time, and are powerless to object to their learning time being used toward political activism for the advancement of LGBTQ rights or watching a school-wide drag performance," Ng wrote in her blog.  
Edmonton blogger Theresa Ng said the tool kit doesn't reflect alternative perspectives held by Albertans. (CBC)
Andrea Berg, head of the ATA's human rights and diversity division, said the toolkit was created based on demand following a similar document released four years ago for elementary school teachers.
"The document came about as a result of demand from teachers in the field who saw a need in their classrooms on how to create the welcoming, caring, safe and inclusive learning environments," said Berg.
She pointed to the high rates of bullying, self harm and suicide among sexual and gender minority students.
Berg said it is hoped the document will help teachers cultivate safe and supportive discussions in the classroom. It includes advice for teachers if a student comes out about their sexual or gender orientation, as well as dealing with homophobic and transphobic behaviour.
The suggestion of staging a drag show "was recommended as an optional activity that teachers could choose to participate in or not," Berg said.
A purple unicorn is used in the guidebook to describe "a more authentic way of understanding gender."
This guide suggests 'caretaker' could replace 'mom' and 'dad'
A picture of a purple, cartoon "gender unicorn" is shown under the heading: "Where do you fall on these spectrums?" It lays out a range of options for gender identity and expression, as well as sex assigned at birth, and physical and emotional attraction.
"Everything in here speaks to a theory of how some people — and I recognize some people feel this way, that gender to them means this, and that's perfectly fine," said Ng. "But what this resource assumes is that is what gender and sexuality mean for everyone."
Ng called for a resource that balances all views in a pluralistic, multicultural, democratic society "without ever abusing our authority."
She urged Albertans to sign up for a campaign launched by Parents for Choice, a parental rights group, demanding that parents be the primary authority in education.
But Berg said the ATA's perspective is "that it is the duty of all teachers to respect all diversity of students, regardless of religion, ethnicity, sexual orientation or gender identity."
She estimated it cost the association between $30,000 and $35,000 to develop the toolkit, plus part of a $6,000 grant from Alberta Education.

Toolkit optional?

Asked whether use of the toolkit is optional, Berg responded that "it is a requirement from the School Act that schools and teachers work to create welcoming, caring, safe, inclusive learning environments for all students."
But she added: "As far as how teachers are going to use this particular document, it's one tool in their toolkit they can choose. It is absolutely optional if they want to use this."
Ng noted the document contains a warning that suggests optional usage may be subject to interpretation. "Canadian courts have found that schools that fail to address homophobia and heterosexism can be in serious breach of their professional responsibilities and considered to be engaging in educational malpractice," the section reads.
"I think that when teachers read that they see this resource as being not so optional," Ng said.
Education ministry chief of staff Jeremy Nolais said the PRISM toolkit is one of the resources produced from a $191,000 grant to help school authorities implement amendments to the School Act.
"Neither Alberta Education nor the minister require school authorities to refer to the PRISM toolkit or any other external resources," Nolais said.
But school authorities are legally responsible to provide caring and safe learning environments for all students, including LGBTQ pupils, he added.
andrea.huncar@cbc.ca               @andreahuncar


Andrea Huncar

A Vergence, You Say...

Qui-Gon Jinn: 
I have encountered a vergence in the Force.

vergence, you say...

Mace Windu: 
Located around a person?

Qui-Gon Jinn: 
A boy. His cells have the highest concentration of midichlorians 
I have seen in a life-form. 
It is possible he was conceived by the midichlorians.

Mace Windu: 
You refer to the prophecy of The One Who Will Bring Balance to The Force. 

You believe it's this -  boy?

verge (n.)
"edge, rim," mid-15c., from Old French verge "twig, branch; measuring rod; penis; rod or wand of office" (12c.), hence, from the last sense, "scope, territory dominated" (as in estre suz la verge de "be under the authority of"), from Latin virga "shoot, rod, stick, slender green branch," of unknown origin.

Earliest attested sense in English is now-obsolete meaning "male member, penis" (c. 1400). Modern sense is from the notion of within the verge (c. 1500, also as Anglo-French dedeinz la verge), i.e. "subject to the Lord High Steward's authority" (as symbolized by the rod of office), originally a 12-mile radius round the king's court. Sense shifted to "the outermost edge of an expanse or area." Meaning "point at which something happens" (as in on the verge of) is first attested c. 1600. "A very curious sense development." [Weekley]

verge (v.1)

"tend, incline," c. 1600, from Latin vergere "to bend, turn, tend toward, incline," from PIE *werg- "to turn," from root *wer- (2) "to turn, bend." Influenced by verge (v.2) "provide with a border" (c. 1600); "be adjacent to" (1787), from verge (n.). Related: Verged; verging.